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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mastering the World of Measuring

We had the opportunity to try the Master Ruler from Master Innovations, Inc. We received the Mastering the World of Measuring book, 1 Standard Master Ruler, 1 Metric Master Ruler, and the Marvels of Measure poster.

The website states the the Master Ruler measurement system was created to help make mathematical concepts more concrete and understandable for young learners. After running a test on 4th and 5th graders in the public school the data suggest that it had a positive effect on the students performance in math and a slightly more powerful effect on their mathematical processing. You can read more about the Scientific Research Study here.

The rulers themselves are the same size as a regular 12" ruler, the difference is that the bottom white layer of the standard ruler has red lines only for the inches and then there is a clear overlay that is marked in shorter blue 1/2 inch lines, then the next clear layer has a shorter green line every 1/4 inch and then there is a clear layer with shorter orange lines marked on 1/8 inch and the last clear overlay is shorter purple lines on the 1/16 inch marks. The layers are held together with a plastic spiral, so they can flip over easily. When my girls were measuring they could start with inches, if the item was in between the inch mark then they could flip over the 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, or the 1/16 until they had the exact measurement of the item. The colors help them to visually see what fractional part of an inch they were at with out counting lines. The metric ruler is the same concept with decimeters, centimeters, and millimeters.

The ruler also helps when adding fractions with and without the same denominator, mixed fractions, and improper fractions by adding different size items to one another and finding the exact measurement.

The Mastering the World of Measuring workbook contains 22 pages. There are basic measuring pages, maps, area, perimeter and adding, subtracting, and converting fractions. I used the rulers and the workbook with all three of my daughters ages 9, 8, and 5. They all three enjoyed measuring everything in the workbook & items around the house. My 5 year old finished only the pages in the workbook that dealt with measuring individual items, she did not complete the pages with fractions. My 8 & 9 year old completed all 22 pages in the workbook. All three of them have a better understanding of measuring and the fraction part has stuck with them. Yesterday the girls decided to make muffins & they were going to double the recipe. Usually I hear, "if i double 3/4 how much do I need"? But this time they were answering their own fraction questions.

Here is a short video by Donna Monck who has been teaching math since 1975 demonstrating the Master Ruler. The Master Innovations, Inc. website contains videos of their other products.

We hung the Marvels of Measure poster up in our school room for easy "length-capacity-weight" connection in the standard unit of measure. The poster breaks down a gallon, pound, and also displays common measuring estimates like a lady bug=1/4 inch & a pencil tip= 1/8 inch.

The Rulers worked so well that I am thinking about ordering the clock for my 5 year to learn to tell time.
The Master Ruler can be purchased alone in Standard or Metric for $9.95 each, the workbook is $15.95  or in a starter set for $41.25. The Marvel of Measure poster can be purchased for $10.00. Some of the other products from Master Innovations, Inc. include the Master Clock, the Master Angle and the Master Fractions.

Other members of TOS Crew received different products from Master Innovations and you can read what they have to say about them at the Crew Blog.
As a member of the TOS Crew I received The Master Ruler from the Master Innovations, Inc. for free in exchange for my review of their product.

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